In this post: Feeling unsure of your decor choices? Don’t know how to create that cohesive flow in your decor? Here’s the foolproof 3-step plan for how to decorate your home!
You want your house to feel like home. To look stylish. Cohesive. Pulled together. Just like your favorite homes on HGTV. And you would love to have that soft place to land and to rest your weary soul from the worries of the outside world.
Maybe you don’t know where to start. Or you’ve tried and you feel like you’ve wasted so much time and money. You’ve googled all the things and instead of helping, all those articles have just left you feeling more confused. You still aren’t quite sure how to decorate your home.
Here’s how to decorate a home in three simple steps.
How most people go about decorating
By the time I talk to them, most people have tried to decorate just like this…
They see a room they like on Pinterest and they think maybe that’s how they want their space to look. They pin the picture and keep scrolling. Then they see another room they like. And another and another. The problem is each space has different colors and styles. Now they’re confused.
So, they spend some time on google, searching for ‘how to decorate’ articles. Cause, you know, maybe those will have the answers. But the 195,000,000 results that come up are “11 Foolproof Decorating Tips”, or “52 Best Interior Decorating Secrets” type posts.
They are filled with great ideas for various parts of decorating, but none of them say where to start decorating or share which steps come next. Which equals more frustration and confusion.
So they try to make their home look like an Instagrammer’s house they like. They go out and buy paint, a new rug and some pillows. Maybe a new lamp or two for good measure. But when they get them home those things just don’t look right.
Or maybe they go out looking for pieces and become so overwhelmed with all the options they just can’t choose anything. So they come home with nothing. And they’re back to square one.
Or they want to use what they already have, but they just can’t quite pull it all together. No matter how they rearrange the furniture and accessories the room still looks off.
Now they’ve wasted oodles of time and money, and they’re no further ahead.
They’re left scratching their head, asking “Why can’t I just figure out this decorating thing already?“
Does that sound familiar?
I wasn’t always good at decorating either
I wasn’t always a good decorator. I didn’t know how to decorate our house at all.
Sure I could recognize a pretty space when I saw one. But I definitely couldn’t create one.
Wanna know why?
Because I was decorating without a plan.
I was doing it all willy-nilly, trying to follow all the tips and tricks in no particular order. Just like the person in the story above!
Don’t believe me? Look at this photo from our first house:
- No balance – there is nothing on the right to visually balance the cabinet on the right.
- No texture – save for the wall-to-wall carpet.
- The colors are off – warm pain and wood, cool carpet.
- And what is that “garland” across the top of the photo frames?!
The problem was I was just reading random articles and buying this here, picking up that there, trying this paint color on that wall.
But there was no order, no organization, no step-by-step do this first, then this.
Even the ‘decorating for idiots’ books are hundreds upon hundreds of pages long. Which seems rather ridiculous in my opinion, because beginners shouldn’t have to sift through all that information, right?
Practice, Study, Practice
So I buckled down and learned all that I could. I:
- studied photos of homes that I loved to find all the beautiful details.
- visited model homes
- scoured design and decorating magazines and poured over high-end catalogs.
- even completed an in-depth program in interior design from a popular New York design school to fill in any gaps I may have missed on my own. (Which was, quite frankly, rather boring.)
All of this took me years.
But with all that practice and learning I finally – finally – figured out how to put everything together to make our entire home cozy and beautiful.
How I decorated our first house, versus how I decorated our third house:
And our current home:
So how does this apply to you? Here’s how…
How to decorate your home: the foolproof plan!
After all that learning and practicing, I noticed there was a pattern to my process. So, I finessed it and sanded off the rough edges. Then I wrote it down as a foolproof plan for how to decorate, that I could share with you!
It’s the same 3 steps for every person and every home. No matter your budget, style, or home.
I’ve used it again and again.
Wanna know what it is?
Here’s my simple 3-step process for how to create a more cohesive style in your home, with less time and money wasted!
1. Discover your unique decorating style.
You need to know your style in order to decorate well. I wrote a whole post on the top 3 reasons you need to know your style.
To summarize, knowing your style is important because:
- it gives you guidelines to follow for your home decor
- it saves you time and money
- it gives you confidence in your decor decision making
Figuring out your style has to come first when decorating. Most of us like more than one style. So part of this step is deciding how to balance those styles into something that is beautiful and uniquely you.
2. Put together a whole home decorating plan.
The second step is to look at how you want your entire home to look and function, so that you can get that cohesive flow everyone is always talking about.
This whole home plan for your style and color is key to making your decor look beautiful and deliberate instead of random and chaotic.
Which main color will you use? Which accent colors? And in which rooms? Plus how will your styles (and maybe the styles your spouse likes) work together to look good instead of like a crazy smorgasbord?
Answering these questions and others is how your create a whole home decor plan.
3. Decorate one room at a time in the right order.
After you’ve outlined your unique style and put a plan together for how it will work in your whole house, you can tackle one room at a time as your time and budget allow. By decorating with the big things (like furniture) first, then the smaller things (accessories) in each room, you can create the home you love, one space at a time.
More How to Decorate Tips
- How to Create a Vignette
- How to Decorate a Rental (When You Can’t Make Any Permanent Changes)